Alcoholism and Marriage - Impossible?
Alcoholism and marriage go together. You'd think the opposite would be true, that alcoholism and divorce go together. You'd think with alcoholism being the marriage crippler that it is, that all alcoholics would be divorced, with no access to their children. Yes, there are some of those.
However, 19% of all alcoholics in the US are married!. Now sit for a moment and think about it. Why would that be?
It's quite simple really. The answer lies in the make-up of the alcoholic. Alcoholics are sensitive needy people, who can't stand loneliness and heartache. I know you are going:
"You can't be taking about my alcoholic now, he is exactly the opposite!"
Yes, it might seem that way, but alcoholics are great actors and master manipulators too. Truth be told, alcoholics prefer to be married!"
Let's look at the women who marry alcoholics. Typically, an alcoholic's wife is a nurturing, caring, loving person, and in most cases, her own family feels that he is undeserving of such a good wife and woman. Be honest with yourself now. Friends and relatives can not fathom why you "put up with his stuff" and why you "don't kick the bum out". You are loyal and defend his actions, make excuses for his behavior, call his boss to say he is sick (when actually he is passed out drunk on your living room floor). You do all those things because you love him and you want to protect him. Most of all, if he loses his job, whose going to take care of you and the children then?
Does it start to make sense now? My statement - "Alcoholism and Marriage go together"? I think you can see where I'm going with this. Alcoholics stay married because they have "good" wives. You are still married to your alcoholic because you are love him and you believe that "this time it will be better". You believe him when he says he "will definitely stop this time" or "swear [he] will never hit you again".
I'm not going to tell you that you are wrong (or right for that matter) to believe him. I'm not going to judge you or tell you divorce him. I'm not going to tell you to stay married to him either. I'm only going to try to give you some advice to help you on your journey through life with an alcoholic spouse.
You see, I am married to an alcoholic. I live that life. I experience it first hand. I'm not a therapist, nor a doctor, or a counselor even. I'm just a normal (well, sort of) woman who has to deal with alcoholism and marriage every day.
So your next question is why? Why am I taking the time to build this site and tell you about my life and try to help you with yours?
Well first of all I know that you, like me, are tired of hearing that it just can't work. I know that you WANT to stay married, even though there is this little problem called Alcoholism in your marriage. For you, divorce is not an option, and you just have to make this work somehow. Actually, you will be grateful just to have some advice on HOW to deal with all this alcoholism stuff.
This is for you, the woman who never made it to the Al-anon meeting, or a therapist, or your local priest/pastor. Maybe you've been, but you've found no relief. Maybe you are to embarrassed to admit that your husband did recover a bit, but is now up to his old tricks again. Maybe you are to embarrassed to even discuss this with your mother or best friend. Maybe you are just not sure whether he is an alcoholic at all. Or maybe... Maybe you just can't face the fact that it might actually be the case.
You are not alone. I understand your need for anonymity. It is for you that I created this website.
I want you to be able to get all the information you need about your husband's alcoholism. I want you to get your marriage boat in calm seas again. I want you to be able to do this without the fear of him or someone else "discovering" what you have been up to.
I want you to be able to learn from my own and other's mistakes. I want you to learn how to heal yourself, to live a whole and sane life again. I want to give you advice on how to tackle the practical day-to-day issues, that might seem like nothing to others, but are challenges in themselves, just because you are living with this crazy disease. I want you to be able to deal with you children and your family, in a normal way again. I want you to be able to laugh, relax, have fun and enjoy life again.
I KNOW it seems impossible now, but I've managed to become whole again. I'm happier and more relaxed now. Our marriage is on a stable footing, and my husband's disease is under control. My life is not perfect, and my husband has not been magically cured from alcoholism. But I'm better, and I want you to feel better too.
Please bookmark this site, so that you can continue the full journey to your recovery. If you don't take care of you first, if you don't get well, if you don't become whole again, your husband won't either. I'm not saying that healing yourself will cure his disease, but it will make it easier for you to live with. As you begin to change, he will be thrown out of his comfort zone and that is GOOD. He will either have to adapt, change and get well, or get out.
Now don't let those last two words scare you. It is very unlikely to happen. It is very difficult to lose an alcoholic. He needs YOU. You might think it is the other way around now, but you will learn that it is not.
I wish for you to come back here as often as you can, to start rebuilding your life and get your sanity back.
I wish you all the best on your journey to health, your journey to save your marriage, and journey to learning how to live with Alcoholism and marriage.
Just another alcoholic's wife